Hulkenberg: New year, new situation

Friday 15-March-2013 04:38

Nico Hulkenberg has downplayed Sauber's chances of pulling off a "surprise" this season, saying a top-ten in Australia is his first target.

Sauber impressed last season, claiming four top-three results in what proved to be the team's best performance ever under the Sauber name.

At the same time Hulkenberg was shinning for Force India as he outdid his team-mate Paul di Resta and even briefly fought for the victory at the season-ending Brazilian GP.

Now the team have teamed up, raising expectations of Sauber many even going one better and pulling off a surprise victory.

"It changes nothing for me. I was leading a race towards the end of last year and Sauber almost won two races but that was last year," Hulkenberg told Autosport.

"We are in a new year, a new situation, you can't take it for granted that it will be the same. Nobody knows.

"I don't expect to surprise everybody. I would love to, of course, and I'm sure the team would as well.

"Always the team and driver looks for a good relationship and a successful season. But we will have to wait and see where we are in terms of pecking order."

Hulkenberg added that his goal for this weekend's Australian Grand Prix is to bring his C32 home in the points.

"It's always difficult to know going into a new season with just winter testing," he said.

"But as a default target, a top 10 in both qualifying and the race is always your desire and what you come to fight for."

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